Robert Spitzer, the shrink who published the infamous 2001 study claiming people could change their sexual orientation from gay to straight with the help of what he called "ex-gay therapy", has decided he would like to retract all his original claims. After years of being bullied by the scientific community, it seems Spitzer's findings just didn't hold up to the criticism. "In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct," Spitzer explained in an interview with American Prospect magazine. "The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more."
Despite the fact that the original study was based on findings from only 200 patients treated with ex-gay therapy and it neglected to provide an actual success rate, it became a touchstone for anti-gay groups in the past decade. While gay rights activists and other psychiatrists questioned the study, Spitzer's only comment until now was to speak out about his discomfort with the way Focus on the Family misused his findings during a 200 interview:
Now, with the official retraction from Dr. Spitzer, gay rights activists are already calling for anti-gay and "ex-gay" organizations to stop quoting the 2001 study as bible.
The American Prospect interview is part of a longer piece by writer Gabriel Arana on the subject of growing up gay and undergoing therapy. In it, the 79-year-old Spitzer asked Arana to print a retraction, "so I don't have to worry about it."